We asked five of the country's best chocolatiers (who are also moms!) to dish on their ultimate Valentine's Day chocolate dessert recipes. The results? Pure bliss.
Everything in this slideshow
Dark Chocolate Souffles
In 1990, chocolatier Cecilia Tessieri started Amedei (amedei.it) in a 500-square-foot food laboratory in Italy, raising children Alessandro (now 21) and Ranieri (now 12) while building the biz with her mother. Tessieri roasts, husks, grinds and tempers cocoa beans from spots like Madagascar and Venezuela, until glossy chocolate is born. Snag it at Tessieri's boutiques in New York City and Hong Kong, or try her dark chocolate soufflé with hazelnuts, which pack a bonus for Baby: He or she may be less likely to develop a nut allergy if you eat them now, research shows.
Dark Chocolate Cremoso
After pediatrician Heather Johnston took up chocolate-making as a hobby in 2011, demand for her treats spiraled into an unexpected career: opening Veruca Chocolates (verucachocolates.com) in Chicago. There, she makes everything from s'mores to her signature gelt for grown-ups, a sleek version of the chocolate Hanukkah coins. The sweetest part of Veruca: Johnston's new gig also allows her to pick up her son and daughter, 8 and 10, from school every day. She loves this cremoso—think of it as a super-thick chocolate spread—because it's simpleand always a hit. "Once you're a mom, you have to be more practical in the kitchen," she says. "This recipe works every time."
Dark Chocolate Ganache Truffles
Consider this evidence of mom passing her cravings to Baby: Andrea Pedraza, the chocolatier behind these tasty truffles and Dallas shop CocoAndré (cocoandre.com), now runs the sweets biz with the help of daughter Cindy Pedraza Puente—who had her own baby in 2013. "This recipe makes you seem like a whiz in the kitchen, but it's so quick," Pedraza Puente says.
Cherry Coconut Toffee
At Kohler Original Recipe Chocolates (kohlerchocolates.com) in Kohler, Wis., head chocolatier Anette Righi DeFendi makes lush truffles and terrapins while juggling another important job: stepmom to Owen, 9, and Luke, 7. "This toffee is easy to make but will impress anyone," she says. "If you have older kids, it's a great family activity."
Love Goddess Cake
After graduating from culinary school in Paris and traveling abroad for nearly a year, Katrina Markoff—now mom to sons Rohan, 5, and Atreyu, 2—founded Vosges Haut-Chocolat (vosgeschocolate.com) in 1998 as a way to tell the stories of the people, places and flavors she discovered on her journey. You'll find chocolate bars and truffles made with ingredients such as Hungarian paprika and Chinese star anise at Vosges boutiques in New York City, Las Vegas, Beverly Hills and Chicago, as well as in grocery and specialty stores around the world. "I'm always cooking and baking with my children, and they love to help make this cake," Markoff says. "I guess they're just like their mother!"